New book on miscarriages of justice and devastating personal cost; Howard Gladstone’s song covers same territory
Howard Gladstone’s song Tammy (The Wheels of Justice) musically recounts the miscarriage of justice in Ontario that led to the wrongful conviction of Tammy Marquardt in 1995.
Tammy was accused of murdering her 2 year old son; she would spend 13 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. In 2011 a new trial was ordered, but the Crown withdrew the charges. Tammy Marquardt was finally free, but at a devastating personal cost. Her conviction was based on flawed testimony using outdated science from now disgraced pathologist Dr. Charles Smith, but at the time considered “a god of pathology.”
A new book published in January 2017, Death in the Family, by John Chipman describes the horrifying ordeal of four of the many families destroyed by the charge of infanticide, all based on the false testimony of Charles Smith.
Howard Gladstone comments: “It is disturbing to witness how the justice system in Ontario and Canada can be so easily subverted by over-zealous police and prosecutors. It is important that all citizens be aware and vigilant. The critical importance of a free press in Canada and investigative journalism in exposing these injustices cannot be over-estimated. We also need to be grateful for organizations that advocate for the wrongfully convicted. In the case of Tammy, and others convicted by the abhorrent testimony of Charles Smith, these forces eventually led the justice system to recognize and deal with the wrongful convictions. But the glacial pace at which the wheels turned and the suffering that resulted calls for further reform. The lack of accountability by those involved in pursuing these witch hunts is also disturbing.”
A studio recording of Howard Gladstone’s song Tammy (The Wheels of Justice) is available as a single, and included in the full length album Roots and Rain. Written in the tradition of such songs as Bob Dylan’s Hurricane (about Ruben “Hurricane” Carter) the songwriter uses his craft to bring attention and heighten awareness to help justice ultimately prevail – even if the wheels of justice turn exceedingly slowly.
The Toronto Star published the following excerpt from John Chipman’s book Death in the Family
Here is a live performance by Howard Gladstone of his song Tammy (The Wheels of Justice).